A woman at a local grammar school started her career as a first grade teacher. For several years, she taught six year olds how to read, write, hold a pen, draw with a crayon, and get along with one another.
She was perfect for this job. Think of the most ideal first grade teacher you could imagine. Imagine her with a soft voice, beautiful smile, lighthearted disposition, and unendingly kind and understanding. Someone that laughs easily, calmly sets boundaries, and effortlessly has you believe the best in yourself.
Some years later, she transferred to teaching fifth grade, and did the same thing for those children as well. Many of the same children she taught in first grade were taught in fifth. These children were, in all likelihood, some of the most well adjusted and most capable students that ever made their way through primary school.
Oh, yeah, I should mention this one thing: Her students were always in the top of their studies compared to the other classes in first and fifth grade. Always.
When high school came and these children were ready to graduate, they were asked to nominate one teacher that made the greatest impact on them personally and scholastically from kindergarten to third grade, fourth to sixth, and junior high. These teachers were to sit on the stage and witness the students receive their diplomas.
This beautiful teacher, the one that taught in both first and fifth grades, was chosen as the teacher who had the greatest impact on all of them from kindergarten to sixth grade...
...four years in a row.
Profoundly humbled by this, after the fourth year, she withdrew her name from participation in any further commencements. She decided she'd watch from the grandstands like everybody else.
And in the fifth year, she sat in the first row of the bleachers. Dozens of students, as they passed her in their procession, took off their mortarboards and bowed.
I write about her because if you can think about somebody like this person, you can inhabit those qualities and be just like them.
We all possess this gentleness and insight. Some of us have to practice, others are naturals.
Recently, I came across a saying by my favorite poet, "Unknown," a few days ago. It helped me define the emotional and spiritual philosophy of this woman, whether she knew it or not.
"I did not come to teach you. I came to love you. Love will teach you."